RTV Drenthe gets a better grip on its sales
Customer information available everywhere, all the time. That was what convinced RTV Drenthe’s commercial department to implement Archie XRM. But the team now benefits from a whole host of additional features as well. “We have a greater insight into our customers, are saving 15-20% of our time on average and can share our knowledge more easily.” The result: a huge rise in profits.
Commercial Manager Fred Többen has been working in the media all his life. He knows the ropes better than anyone and knows above all that nearly all the media – be it magazines, radio, TV or the Internet – make most of their money from regular advertisers. This makes customer relationships very important, certainly within the small market in which RTV Drenthe operates. “We’re only a small province. The number of potential advertisers is limited.”
RTV Drenthe is a public station. Around 20-25% of its budget comes from advertising fees. The bulk of this is brought in from radio and TV commercials, with minor contributions from banners on the website and billboarding (“this program was made possible in part by ... ”). RTV Drenthe has three sources of advertisement revenue: national returns realized by Omroep Reclame Nederland (Dutch Advertisement Broadcasting) for the regional stations; super-regional returns from the regional stations in Groningen, Friesland and Overijssel; and regional returns, for which RTV Drenthe Advertising is responsible.
The company went in search of a new CRM package that would allow its customer information to be available everywhere at all times. They soon came across Archie XRM. One of its standard features is PDA synchronization. Többen: “All of us already had a smartphone with Lotus Notes on for our e-mail and calendars, and we wanted to have our customer information available on it too. Our field staff are away the whole day, after all.” Making Archie available on the PDAs was an easy task, but linking it to Lotus Notes was quite tricky. RTV Drenthe’s ICT department worked closely with Archie to get it done.
RTV Drenthe switched to Archie XRM towards the end of 2007. “It was such a relief,” says Többen. We could finally link all our information on a customer to their customer record: their quotes, broadcast schedules, even commercials could now be easily attached. Before then, all that information was just sitting somewhere with no context. The internal staff were wasting a lot of time looking for information. A customer quite often asks something like ‘can we re-use the commercial for last year’s Easter show?’ We used to have to hunt through multiple databases for the broadcast schedule and the commercial itself, but now we have all the information we need at the press of a button.”
"We never have to look for information any more as everything is linked to an customer record."
The creation of DM campaigns goes a lot faster than it used to as well. “We used to have to export contact information into Excel and then merge that file with the letter; now we can do all that in Archie,” says Többen. Selecting the addresses to receive a mailshot also happens faster.
Archie is also a great help in visualizing the results of campaign mailshots. “In the past we quite often used to find that, for one reason or another, our follow-up was below par, which showed in our sales results. Mailshots are now associated with an activity in Archie, which is then displayed in the planner. This means the activity will pretty much ‘have’ to be followed up somehow,” says Többen. In March 2008 RTV Drenthe Advertising set up its first large-scale sales campaign in this way and the response was substantially higher than any of its previous campaigns.
Többen makes intensive use of the management information that Archie provides him with. He has a greater insight into the sales activities and results of both the internal and field-based staff. Not only that, but these results are considerably better as the process is now more structured. Archie always indicates when a customer needs to be called back, for example. Többen is now confident that “nothing slips through our fingers any more”.
"There's less hassle to our sales proces now the follow-up is well-organized."
In addition, the knowledge that the account managers used to have to keep in the heads is now accessible to everyone through Archie. “We’re sharing information better, which is a must with the way we divide the responsibilities. We haven’t subdivided our area into regions; in principle any salesman can be in contact with any prospect. Plus, we work with a telemarketer who plans all our appointments. She naturally needs to be able to see the customer’s history and when we were last in contact with them.”
Although RTV Drenthe Advertising has been working with Archie for a year and a half now, the company is still adding new functionality to its package, such as Word XRM. “It’s incredibly handy for creating quotes,” Többen assures us. “80% of our quoting text is standard while the other 20% is custom. Now all we have to do is select the right blocks of text and write just a few lines ourselves. The system makes suggestions for these as well, which appear in a little balloon. That way you can be sure you haven’t forgotten anything.”
All in all, Archie XRM has provided a considerable time saving. Not just when creating quotes, but also when looking up broadcast schedules, commercials or correspondence. Többen estimates the time savings at 15-20%. “Yes, that’s a lot, but even before that we used to lose a lot of time organizing things and filing them away together, as everything used to be scattered around. E-mails, letters, quotes, reservations, broadcast schedules, commercials, everything was stored in a different system. Now everything is linked to a customer record, and we never have to look for information any more.”
"We now have a lot more insight into what we are doing, which helps us to structure the way we work."
About RTV Drenthe
RTV Drenthe is the regional broadcasting station for the province of Drenthe. In addition to radio and TV programs, the station also provides informational services via Text-TV, Teletext and the Internet. Radio Drenthe is the most widely-received station in the province, and the television channel is also popular: one in five television sets in the province are tuned to TV Drenthe between 6pm and 7pm. Both the TV and radio programs are also available to watch and listen to on the Internet – visit www.rtvdrenthe.nl for more information.